5 IFD firefighters released from hospital after being injured fighting arson fire in Fountain Square

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INDIANAPOLIS — Five Indianapolis firefighters are recovering after being injured fighting an arson fire in Fountain Square.

Investigators have ruled someone intentionally set the fire on Indy’s near east side.

The five firefighters were injured when the second floor collapsed. All five have been released from the hospital and will be okay.

At the same time, neighbors say the home has been a dangerous nuisance for several months before the arson on Fletcher avenue.

“You know it’s not very safe at this point, so it should definitely be torn down,” said neighbor Suzanne Richter.

Neighbors like Suzanne Richter now hope the scorched shell of the home is demolished. Flames could be seen shooting high above the roof as the first crews arrived just after 9 p.m. Monday.

“It was a pretty big fire,” said Richter. “The heat was very intense.”

Suzanne says the neighboring home had actually been vacant since May when the last renters moved out, leaving a neighborhood eyesore behind.

“I mean the windows were busted out and the front door was busted out. It’s been a big issue on the street,” said Richter.

In early July police reports show the upper floor of the home caught fire. six weeks before it went up in flames a second time Monday night.

“More than likely because it’s been vacant for some time and we’ve got people going in and out of the home that should not be there,” said IFD battalion chief Rita Reith.

While the case remains under investigation and no suspects have been identified, fire crews insist whoever set the fire put a lot of people in jeopardy. 

Five firefighters inside the home fell 10 feet from the second floor to the first, landing on top of each other and narrowly escaping major injury.

“You know anytime you have a fire that is intentionally set there are so many layers and so many people that are affected. This could have been so much worse,” said Reith. “Arson is a crime of opportunity. Plain and simple it is a crime.”

At least one neighboring home did have damage to the siding, but the people who live inside were not hurt.

Anyone with information on the fire is still asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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